On 17 October 1987, on the initiative of the NGO ATD Fourth World, around a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris to honor the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They declared that poverty was a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.
Welcoming the fact that certain international organizations in many countries have decided to make 17 October the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, the UN General Assembly adopted, on 22 December 1992, resolution 47/196 declaring 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It urges the States to devote this Day to the organization and promotion of concrete activities aimed at eradicating poverty and destitution. It further invites intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to assist States, at their request, in organizing national activities to observe this Day.
This Day is not just an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, but also a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been central to the Day’s celebration since its very beginning.
Reducing extreme poverty and hunger is the first goal of the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 by the General Assembly.
France, alongside its European Union partners, remains determined to help the entire international community to achieve this goal, notably through development assistance, the promotion of fair trade and good governance.
This year, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will focus on the topic of "decent work."